Muscat: Exchange houses in Oman have been stuck with 15 million rupees of scrapped cash and are trying to tempt NRIs going home to take it off their hands.
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The leading five exchange houses in the country have all reported huge stocks of the scrapped Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes.
Before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi swung the axe on black money, exchange houses here were selling rupees at 175 rupees for every Omani rial.
Now, they are selling the notes at up to 225 rupees per rial in a bid to shift stocks of the soon-to-be cancelled currency.
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Indians have until December 31 to deposit the notes in accounts in India, prompting some to take advantage of the deal.
Dozens of currency exchange houses in the Sultanate all face the same problem – what to do with the notes. The Indian government scrapped the currencies on November 8, pitching India – and Indians in Oman - into temporary turmoil.
“We have Indian currencies worth Rs3 million stuck in Oman,” Rajan B, general manager at Al Jadeed Exchange, confirmed.
Another two money exchange houses also confirmed - on condition of anonymity – that they have at least INR4 million of notes with them in Oman.
“Bare minimum we will have INR4 million with us. What can be done is a question. However, waiting for further instructions,” a money exchange house boss said.
Another money exchange house boss said: “We have 4m Indian rupees with us. Out of that 80 per cent will be INR500 and INR1,000,” the official added.
Deepak Chandra, chief manager at Mustafa Sultan Exchange in Ruwi branch, said that they also have a large number of INR500 notes. “Our branch is currently holding a large number of INR500 notes which can go up to INR200,000,” the official added.
Another boss at an exchange house with 35 outlets in Oman said that they have at least INR4 million notes. Exchange houses in Oman stopped taking INR500 and INR1,000 on November
8 immediately after Modi’s announcement.